So how do you feel about freezing tofu?
Sometimes I like it, sometimes I don’t. Freezing definitely changes the texture of the tofu. It makes it… hole-ier? My totally unscientifically proven theory is that while tofu looks like a homogenous material, it’s not. When it freezes, the water expands in different areas, leaving behind little miniature tofu caves when you thaw it. This makes the tofu rather sponge-like. This can be good or bad, depending.
It certainly makes your tofu easier to press. You can almost wring it out over the sink like a sponge. Squeeze it between your palms and voila, pressed tofu. But it will suck up liquid just as easily as it releases it. If you’re making baked tofu, use a milder marinade than you might normally, and use more of it. It’s going to suck it up like nobody’s business.
Here, I cubed it and stir-fried it. Frozen tofu is an okay candidate for stir-frying, but beware. It’ll soak up oil just like anything else. “Wow, I thought I put oil in the pan.. where’d it go? Better add more!” You’ll find it later. A tofu cube full of hot oil isn’t my idea of fun. I’d recommend using something non-stick here to prevent an unfortunate dining experience.
But it’s okay if it sticks a little. It’s actually preferable. When it sticks, you can scrape off the sticky parts and you get these fun, crispy tofu crumble things in your final dish. The cubes don’t suffer for it, you just get some great added texture.
This recipe isn’t anything earth shattering, but it’s fast, easy, and super adaptable.
Tofu Kale Stir-fry
1-2 Tbs Oil
1 Block Extra Firm Tofu, frozen, thawed, pressed, cubed
1 Bunch Kale, deveined and ripped into small pieces
1/2 tsp Chili Flakes
1/4+ tsp Ginger Powder (or a bit of fresh ginger, minced)
2 Tbs Low Sodium Tamari
2 tsp Sugar (for a sweeter version, optional)
Heat the oil on high in a well seasoned wok or large non-stick pan. Add tofu carefully, avoiding hot angry oil splatters. Use a wooden spoon to move the tofu around, until it begins to color.
Add kale, chili flakes, and ginger. Cook well, stirring and scraping bits off the bottom, until tofu is golden and kale is getting brown caramelized spots on it. Add tamari and optional sugar, stir well for a few moments, serve immediately with fresh ground pepper over the top.
What’s that in the background? A little green bean salad from the cookbook. I made the salty version of the stir-fry because the salad was sweet